My Long Lake neighbors’ grandaughter, estimated age 9 years old, and her “new best friend” started the day early in the water. The lake temperature is around 60–warmer in the shallows but not by all that much. The air temperature reached a high of about 74. Winds were brisk throughout the day. By day’s end, other agemates (3 more) had somehow appeared. These girls peddled the paddleboat (yes, all sensibly life-jacketed). They peddled the paddleboat pulling their buddies on tubes. Not a whiner or a cream puff among them. No complaints about the at-times mucky bottom. No fretting about crayfish. “We left our shoes on the deck!” “Good, we’ll have to run across the lawn in the dark.” My neighbor practically had to drag them off the water at 9:45 after sunset. The mosquitos had to have been fierce and still they were having a great time.
In case any non-Michigander ever finds this blog, we all call the northern part of our lower peninsula “up north.” Hillman is in the northeast part of “up north.” That’s not the snazzy part. It’s more like the real part. We don’t do art festivals. We have the Hillman Apple Days, the Blessing of the Bikes, and a V-J Parade. I don’t think a lot of places in America celebrate Victory Over Japan anymore. We don’t have fancy restaurants in Hillman–just great home cooked meals at Jacques. (They repaired their sign last fall, so now the “C” isn’t dangling upside down). Kids can come here and forget the dance lessons, the soccer teams, the schedule of birthday bashes. Just let them out in the morning, keep an ear-out in case they call for help and make sure the same number come back in at night.
I had my firepit going yesterday, burning the winter’s deposit of sticks. Seemed a shame to let a good campfire go to waste, so I brought out my trusty stash of Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows and the girls warmed themselves by the fire and roasted some marshmallows. At first they were toasting them kind of precisely. But pretty soon they just let them catch fire and blew them out like I used to. Yum. I turned the bag of marshmallows over, while the girls stood there shivering in their bathing suits and bare feet roasting marshmallows. I have a feeling that the bag didn’t used to say this when I was nine:
Eat one at a time.
For children under 6, cut marshmallows into
bite-sized pieces. Children should always be
seated and supervised while eating.
Seated and supervised. Wow. To eat marshmallows? Who knew? I wonder what the KraftKidsSafe would think of young kids roasting marshmallows on sticks on a windy day dancing around barefoot in their bathing suits. I wonder what makes a marshmallow “jet puffed” as I stuff two in my mouth at the same time just to see what would happen. Shucks, no lawsuits. No one choked.